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[flagged] Bitcoin is ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization’ (theregister.com)
25 points by bouvin 12 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments

"Old man yells at cloud" - literally in this case.

I was expecting the criticism to be about Bitcoin's energy impact but his arguments seem to be that Bitcoin is used for crime (as if fiat wasn't?) and that it's been invented out of thin air (which seems like jealousy).

He seems salty about missing the train on tech companies (and that growth companies have been beating value companies for years) and blockchain. Agree on jealousy.

The part about kidnapping is the eternal argument against any attempt to increase privacy, the 4 horsemen of the infocalypse:

- terrorists,

- pedophiles,

- drug dealers,

- money launderers / organized crimes


Buffetts comments are still spot on.

Right now bitcoin is a gambling thing.

Why else would you invest in it right now? There is no legit reasoning why someone would invest this kind of money.

Right now every ten minutes bitcoin as a system pays out bitcoin of 300.000$ for avg of 2000 transactions.

What real value would bitcoin has, right now, to make this kind of investment not just gambling?

And from a pur statistic value, I bought 100% drugs with my bitcoins (probably 500-1000$ per year for the last 5? Years) while I do know stories of friends who bought one pizza or one Döner, no one I know use bitcoin for anything else.

So I don't share your criticism. After all btc is invented out of thin air and you don't need to put that kind of money into btc as itt doesn't support the research of cryptocurrency.

I think one legitimate reason to invest is if you consider what a world would look like post-USD dominance.

Suppose there is high inflation in the next ten years or so. Inflation is harmful to savers in addition to business, since it makes planning difficult. How can you create long term plans ten years out if you don't know what the dollar will buy you a few years from now.

There will have to be a new standard for which to price contracts going further out. What will that be? Europe is a mess. The West doesn't trust China. Gold was used historically pre-fiat money but the government has a history of manipulating gold supply since the Fed owns a lot of gold and personally owning gold was made illegal in the US in the past.

Which leaves Bitcoin as a strong candidate for some kind of reference. The idea is that a currency goes from novelty -> store of value -> transactions -> unit of account.

I'm not saying this will happen, but it's wrong to say that investing in Bitcoin is just gambling.

>Bitcoin is used for crime (as if fiat wasn't?)

His point was, as I saw it, that has many other uses beyond crime and speculation.

Fiat was surely used for crime since the beginning of it, and this hasn't prevented its adoption. Frankly, anything can be used as a way to fund crime, whether it's a fungible currency or tangible goods/services.

Just because something can be used maliciously doesn't mean it should be demonized and banished despite its non-malicious potential (cryptocurrencies is one of the very few real use-cases of blockchain).

> speculation

Isn't his entire empire nowadays based on essentially speculation? Very bold from him to complain about this. I definitely feel jealousy in there.

Sure but that's kind of like saying that since cars kill many more people than RPGs that it's unfair to only ban RPGs and not cars too.

Unfortunately quite a lot of today's economy is contrary to the interests of civilization.

Businesses can be broadly split into 3 categories:

1. Those that create value and sell it or exchange it on the market (not necessarily necessary things, but things that someone wants.)

2. Those that don't add value in and of themselves but are necessary because markets are imperfect (accountants, lawyers, ad agencies, marketing consultants)

3. Those that exploit the fact that markets are imperfect, for profit (hedge funds, speculators [including bitcoin], the non-advisory side of investment banks, landlords, patent trolls, any sort of rentier)

And guess which of those is where the money is. But (2) and (3) do not contribute to society since they do not add to its overall value.

I would love to see a government somewhere actively encourage (1) companies, through policy incentives etc., to bring the balance back. Not going to happen though.

Addendum: I put ad agencies in number 2. I'm not talking about companies that do add value, but ads is how you pay for it (Google, Facebook, TV and radio stations.) Those are number 1 businesses.

> I would love to see a government somewhere actively encourage (1) companies, through policy incentives etc.,

Ironically much of the work in 2 and 3 from your list is a direct result of government trying to "encourage" and "discourage" certain behavior.

Accountants for overly complicated tax codes

Lawyers for overly complicated regulation

Patent trolls for overly complicated IP protection

Landlords for overly restrictive zoning regulation


> “I hate the Bitcoin success and I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful [for] kidnappers in our stores and so forth,” he said. “Nor do I like just shuffling out a few extra billions and billions and billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air.”

The main arguments are :

1. It is used for nefarious reasons (true of virtually all currencies)

2. It made billions for its creator (technically true although never actualized and likely never will be)

These aren't comments from someone who has put serious thought and research into the topic.

ITT: Bitcoiners mocking one of the wealthiest men in the world for having missed the boat and being a "salty no-coiner".

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